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Four Seasons Hotel London, London 

Hamilton Place
Tel: 44 20 7499 0888
Fax: 44 20 7493 1895
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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
How do you reinvigorate a hotel whose problem is not the service it delivers (always impeccable) but the feeling of predictable blandness? The solution for this 41-year-old Mayfair landmark was to undergo a bone-deep refit, apply a sharp jolt of Italian verve, and add some classy English undertones. The result? Cool luxury in the 192 rooms (plentiful marble and mirrors) and a sexy new lobbyside venue—for all-day grazing and imbibing that deflate previous signs of stuffiness. A series of salons in genteel country house tones connects to a bar and a restaurant, Amaranto, designed in an opulent Italian style (cardinal scarlet mixed with dark wood and, again, a lot of mirrors). You can move from the cucumber and smoked salmon finger sandwiches of afternoon tea to the inventive Italian dinner menu by Adriano Cavagnini (previously of the Hotel Eden in Rome) and arguably London's deepest Italian wine list. Moreover, each wine can be bought by the glass (with a two-glass minimum) so you can skip joyfully from region to region. —2011 Hot List

Which room to book: The few Superior Rooms on the higher floors with views of Hyde Park are the best value; avoid the alternative "city view" rooms—a euphemism for rooftops—within the categories.

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